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“Beautiful quaint restaurant, perfect food, but...the guests??!...”

The Chef's Table by La Villa Mahana
Ranked #4 of 55 Restaurants in Bora Bora
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$98 - US$98
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, Delivery, Reservations
Description: The World Famous 7 table restaurant located in Paradise
Reviewed 17 June 2014

Hello, my name is Michelle, and I must be completely honest about our experience at La Villa Mahana; Bora Bora...

I wanted to originally reserve our dinner 1 year before our Honeymoon but we had to wait until 8 months before. Right at the 8 month prior mark I emailed the chef and reserved our dinner for 2 for our Honeymoon on June 5th, 2014 at 6:30 pm. We chose Bora Bora for our honeymoon because we sought extreme togetherness and alone time. The chef- Damien was very prompt to returning my emails with positive feedback reassuring that our reservation was good to go.

I did a lot of online research for good places to eat in Bora Bora and La Villa Mahana popped up quickly as a must-go in Bora Bora. We were also prepared to spend the money as this is a once in a lifetime experience. The money was NOT AN ISSUE.

I was very much looking forward to this with my new husband and then the night came!! I must say, that the environment was absolutely beautiful, the building was very small and tucked away. It is very intimate and the music was very appropriate. I loved all the décor from the paintings to the swing out front to the rustic feel top to bottom and the beautiful dinnerware. It IS the most fancy restaurant I have ever been to. It is very unique.

I also have to say that, Damien- or whoever thought it was a good idea to put the prices on the men's menu only is an absolute genius. I don't know if that is just a French thing, but my husband really really liked that. We realized that afterwards... They need to do that more in the U.S. Very traditional in that respect and it was the first time I've been to a restaurant with the price just on the men's menu. Very classy...and it shows how fancy of a place this really is.

Everything we ate was delicious. No complaints about the food or drink. Food was served with perfect timing. Waitress was very friendly and accommodating. She brought me a hand-held fan because she noticed I was sweating (we live in the desert). That was very thoughtful.

Ok, so now I must also say the negative but before I do, this is nothing the chef or his staff had control over...

I expected the most romantic and intimate dinner to ever have with my husband. That was my expectation over the last year in the waiting. When we arrived on Vaitape, we were shuttled in with other guests and all sat in the same downstairs area. That took a little of the personal experience away. Just a little though. Then we sat next to this completely fake, superficial newlywed couple also from the States with the man drooling all over his new wife and we heard every single word from his mouth. They both were young and acted as if mommy and daddy paid for this entire trip and didn't appreciate a thing. I just couldn't stand to even look at the guy, I wanted to vomit, I felt like they were actors on a tv show. So that took away a HUGE chunk of the personal experience I wanted.

I went upstairs to the bathroom and noticed a couple by themselves having a romantic time together with no other guests around! I was screaming inside so mad and I thought "aaaahhhh!!!!" I was so irritated and went back down to join my husband and tried like hell to ignore the superficial couple next to us. I kept thinking why didn't I ask for a table for ourselves? I reserved 8 months ahead of time, but when I reserved I thought they would spread out the couples so they don't sit so close to each other. So that was not something I was worried about when I reserved.

I did not ask to be moved because I thought that was not an option, and I did not want to make a scene. They seated us all together, so they probably did that for a reason...?

It's not a 7 table restaurant, because there are more tables upstairs, but upon reading more Trip Advisor comments, it seems as though you can request a special table to be alone or something like that, but I did not know that option was available to me. I thought after reviewing the website, and the type of place this is where Honeymooners go, that they would just automatically spread the couples so their experience is more private/intimate? Wouldn't you think?

That couple sitting next to us still irritates me and they kept giving us dirty looks. And I know I shouldn't let other people ruin this special occasion with my husband...you should just ignore other people, right? Right. But hearing every single fake and superficial word coming from both of them overwhelmed the time I was trying to have with my husband. If you heard and saw this couple you would totally understand! Even when we were trying to have a private conversation that couple was listening. I was imagining in my mind my husband punching the guy in the face and me taking her wine and pouring it all over her white dress!!!

Anyway, when we were done eating, they pass a book around for you to sign like a yearbook, also very nice, and the shuttle van takes you back to your pick-up location (I don't like the shuttle experience)...but again, nothing the chef/owner can do about that.

Damien and staff-- you have a beautiful restaurant, an amazing staff, the most delicious perfectly prepared food, and a gorgeous environment. We loved everything about the place. But you cannot control the type of people that come to your restaurant. And if I knew I could request a private table, I would have. Please let me know how to do that and we might give it a go for a 2nd time.

Thank you for this wonderful experience and the people was the sole reason why it did not get a 5 star rating. You ROCK Damien!!! :-D

Thank you,

Michelle & Brian Brasiel

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    • Food
3  Thank Michelle_2001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chefdamien, Propriétaire at The Chef's Table by La Villa Mahana, responded to this reviewResponded 28 June 2014

Ia Orana :)

Thank you very much for that comment . Appreciate it!

Wish you all the best and hope to see you back with us in Paradise in a near future :)

Damien :)

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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435 - 439 of 994 reviews

Reviewed 16 June 2014

If you're traveling to Bora Bora save up about $500 for the two of you to dine at La Villa Mahana and email chef Damien a couple months in advance to secure your reservation. There are only 9 tables per night. This was our favorite dining experience of our whole honeymoon for sure. We opted for the Epicurean set menu which was full of deliciously rich and creamy classic French food using local ingredients. Many people say this is the best meal of their life. While I don't agree with that statement having dined at a few 3 star Michelin restaurants, I do think this place deserves your attention. My table sat with the perfect view of the kitchen so I could see the chef in action and he was very quick to greet us and say hello. The whole staff was friendly and eager to help. We loved dining here and I only hope we get to go back soon. Please do yourself a favor and eat here!

Thank Lindsay S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chefdamien, Propriétaire at The Chef's Table by La Villa Mahana, responded to this reviewResponded 28 June 2014

Ia Orana :)

Thank you very much for that comment . Appreciate it!

Wish you all the best and hope to see you back with us in Paradise in a near future :)

Damien :)

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 June 2014

We had a lovely dinner, however I guess because of the wonderful reviews we expected something extraordinary. For a nice, expensive, fancy dinner on the main island it's a go, but coming from NYC and all the top-notch restaurants there it's hard to compare. We loved the dessert and the fish was delish. I made our reservation in February for June, so plan ahead!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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2  Thank Tara G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chefdamien, Propriétaire at The Chef's Table by La Villa Mahana, responded to this reviewResponded 28 June 2014

Ia Orana :)

Thank you very much for that comment . Appreciate it!

Wish you all the best and hope to see you back with us in Paradise in a near future :)

Damien :)

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2014

Great Food!!! amazing and very intimate - only 7 or so tables in the restaurant, staff were friendly. although very expensive. would recommend, if money isn't an issue

Thank Jordan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chefdamien, Propriétaire at The Chef's Table by La Villa Mahana, responded to this reviewResponded 28 June 2014

Ia Orana :)

Thank you very much for that comment . Appreciate it!

Wish you all the best and hope to see you back with us in Paradise in a near future :)

Damien :)

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2014

We booked this restaurant about 6 months ago based on recommendations. It was a very nice dining experience. My husband and I both ordered the Captain's prix fixe (5 courses?) with the wine pairings. By far, the course with the foie gras was the absolute best we had both ever had. Also notable, the wines served were amazing. These two elements were the highlight of the evening. The other courses were very good, and comparable to fine dining in NYC, for example. Unfortunately cannot say it was the best dining experience I've had, even for the price.

    • Value
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    • Food
1  Thank Seynthia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chefdamien, Propriétaire at The Chef's Table by La Villa Mahana, responded to this reviewResponded 28 June 2014

Ia Orana :)

Thank you very much for that comment . Appreciate it!

Wish you all the best and hope to see you back with us in Paradise in a near future :)

Damien :)

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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